Magic Gulag Soil Theory

Toews, Gerhard, and Pierre-Louis Vézina. 2018. “Enemies of the People.” Working Paper. (h/t Emil)

Enemies of the people were the millions of intellectuals, artists, businessmen, politicians, professors, landowners, scientists, and affluent peasants that were thought a threat to the Soviet regime and were sent to the Gulag, i.e. the system of forced labor camps throughout the Soviet Union. In this paper we look at the long-run consequences of this dark re-location episode. We show that areas around camps with a larger share of enemies among prisoners are more prosperous today, as captured by night lights per capita, firm productivity, wages, and education. Our results point in the direction of a long-run persistence of skills and a resulting positive effect on local economic outcomes via human capital channels.

The presence of Gulag prisoners – especially concentrations of “enemies of the people”, i.e. “politicals” who overwhelmingly hailed from the Tsarist-era educated elites in the professions, aristocracy, and kulaks – had positive long-run effects on development in those regions.

This is not surprising, since the authors find that the human capital of those “politicals” was significantly higher than the population average.

Here are the correlations from a presentation by the same authors.

Each one standard deviation in “enemy of the people” share corresponde with a 26% rise in revenues per employee, a 22% rise in value added per employee, a 14% increase in wages, and a 10% point increase in the probability to have a tertiary education. This includes controls for pre-Stalin levels of human capital across the Soviet Union, as proxied by literacy rates in the 1926 Census, as well as climatic and geographic factors.

The son always rises. Even if you enslave him and his descendants in a remote icebox.

The main problem is that the Bolsheviks also ensured that a large proportion of those sons – around 80% of those in hi-tech industries in the late Russian Empire – either ended up in a ditch, or contributed their talents to building up foreign nations, as opposed to various out of the way settlements in Siberia and North Kazakhstan.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

  2. Blinky Bill says

    The son always rises. Even if you enslave him and his descendants in a remote icebox.

    or contributed their talents to building up foreign nations.

    Bruce Lahn the Chinese-born American geneticist famous for his research on the microcephaly-associated gene MCPH1 and its role in human intelligence, was born to two Theoretical Physicist parents who met working deep down in a coal mine during the Cultural Revolution.

  3. Philip Owen says

    The suggestion is that they stayed put after release rather. Those who found work rather than died from starvation and lack of shelter would have been able to go home after a year or two? The lucky ones would have been taken home by relatives. As they were overwhelmingly male, how did they reproduce? They would have been less than prime marriage material after release.

    Perhaps some other correlation is required rather than Gulag prisoners getting out? These were new areas for development. Resources such as land were less constrained than in core European Russia. Siberian electricity is about the world’s cheapest.

  4. Gerard1234 says

    No correlation. Many of these areas were chosen as gulags for the extraction of natural resources or working on some large infrastructure projects….. the industries created from this work would be significant and often the primary part of the economy in these regions for decades, post-gulag, including for now.

    Legacy from gulag would also be good transport links built in these areas for obvious reasons.

    So it should be no surprise if these areas have higher productivity, wages, education etc. Its a triumph of sovietism…..NOT a triumph against it.

    Wealthy natural resource in low-medium populated areas should always bring these results

  5. My impression was that, broadly-speaking, the Soviets didn’t utilize the brains of internees, unless you were a physicist, and could contribute to the rocket or nuclear programs. Or if you were smart enough to successfully pretend that you were a physicist.

    I thought men were separated from their wives and not given access to women. If they were old upon release, it is hard to understand how they had the sexual market value to reproduce in numbers. And wouldn’t they have been men with low fertility anyway, due to their high intelligence? Lastly, I’m confused how any effect could persist after the fall of communism. Wouldn’t smart people move towards opportunities? Aren’t there lots of towns in Russia that were created in isolated areas by the Soviets and which are now deserted?

    I guess I’m a bit skeptical. I don’t think Stalin was forward-thinking enough to consider breeding brains, and I don’t see economic effects could materialize through communism, or last past its end. BTW, is there any hard evidence that Stalin wasn’t a believer in Lysenkoism? (Doctors’ Plot, maybe?)

  6. TomSchmidt says

    Absolutely fascinating idea. Thanks.

  7. Jefferson Temple says

    Serious question: what is meant by “night lights per capita”?

  8. Yea, there’s something to that, but I think evacuation of Soviet industry away from advancing Germans during WW2 played a bigger role ultimately in determining regional prosperity.

    My grandmother’s side of the family “relocated” to Vyatka region in the 1930’s.. Well, grandmother, an engineer (retired now) still lives there, and the factory she worked at is still going strong all those years later. Its not that she couldn’t get out, she could, but why? Cost of living is low and pay is good. If you like gardening, its the place to be.

    So it was more like “Come for the GULAG, stay for the opportunities provided by the Soviet industrial policy”. I’m mean, even today, large internationally competitive Russian factories (polymers, fertilizer, alloys, aluminum, etc) are not too bad to work at, and they require skilled labor.

  9. In the Soviet Union there were certain GULAG camps dedicated to technological research called sharashka. Solzhenitsyn wrote lots about them as he was sent to one. The sharaska were working usually on military technology.

  10. The term “sharashka” is prison jargon, they were called that by the inmates. It’s still part of the modern lexicon, a dodgy firm is referred to as a “sharashkana kontura”.

  11. Fluesterwitz says

    The son always rises.

    What about regression to the mean then?

  12. Korenchkin says

    Korolyev was tortured by the NKVD and later gulaged, he was sentenced to death but survived since this was near the end of the great purge
    He was lucky, the leaders of the institute he worked in were executed

  13. It regresses to a family mean, not a population-wide mean. So a generally above-average talented family will have a higher mean than an average one, but will not consistently produce geniuses.

  14. And wouldn’t they have been men with low fertility anyway, due to their high intelligence?

    This link seems to reflect modern culture and elite behavior in moderns*. Darwin had ten children, Tolstoy thirteen (Dostoyevsky only had four but he struggled financially). Kant never married but came from a family of nine; Hegel had four children.

    *Modern rich Americans tend to have many children, though.

  15. Another great article in the series about the Soviet calamity.

  16. reiner Tor says

    Nevertheless he died at a relatively young age, and his time in the camps might’ve contributed to it a lot. The commies caused enormous harm to themselves.

  17. Elmer's Washable School Glue says

    I believe it is referring to something like the famous pictures of the Korean Peninsula at night taken from satellites, where the South is brightly lit up while the North is basically black. Wealthier and more developed areas have a higher light density on the ground, given equal populations.

  18. Of the 80% of the cream that was lost, was it representative in terms of ethnicity with the whole 100%, or were certain ethnic groups spared, relatively speaking?

    Looking at the cream in 1917, versus the cream after Stalin died, was its ethnic makeup about the same, or was it vastly different?

  19. Bardon Kaldian says

    Statistically, most creative people tend to have lower than average number of children. Outliers like Tolstoy, Euler, Bach, Dickens, Darwin and Gauss are exceptions.

    Leonardo da Vinci-0
    Thomas Young-0
    J. Clerk Maxwell-0
    Lavoisier-0 (?)
    Hamilton- 3
    Byron-?, but definitely not a family man
    Van Gogh-0
    Rimsky Korsakov-7!
    Lobachevsky- 17!
    Marx- 3 survived
    Einstein-2, plus 1 died in infancy
    Schroedinger- hard to tell
    Bulgakov (writer)-0
    Akhmatova-1 (?)

  20. Spergler-0 isn’t much of a loss.

    I wonder if anyone has taken the lists from Human Greatness by Charles Murray and compared the fertility of people on the list with the averages from the societies and eras they came from.

  21. I realize that I mentioned Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky but most of the people on your list are artists (and gays, such as Tchaikovsky) and the comment concerned intelligence not necessarily creativity.

    Also, regarding your list – Hegel had three legitimate children (one died in infancy) and one illegitimate one. So 4. Goethe had 5 children but only one survived childhood. Einstein was already a modern.

  22. Bardon Kaldian says

    Even without exactitude, it is easy to answer- most important creative people had few, if any children (especially during Christian dominance period- celibacy).

    That goes for ancients, too- Confucius 2, Plato 0, Aristotle 1. Then, gays are disproportionately represented among creative people. Also, we don’t exactly know the figure for old-timers, although it seems that childless prevailed among them (Epicurus, Plotinus, Epictetus-0).

    For past 500 years in the Western world, when clerical celibates ceased to be dominant among creative people as in past 1200-1500 years, the trend seems to have continued: most artists, philosophers, scientists, authors, …. of the highest rank were either childless or with 1-2 children.

    Bach, Euler, Darwin,Tolstoy…. these are just famous exceptions.

  23. Bardon Kaldian says

    OK, but I meant overall creativity. Also, one can see that scientists, as a rule, had less children than artists/authors.

    Most folks on my list were either philosophers or scientists. True, I was wrong about Goethe (I remembered his son had died before him).

    What is common sense:

    • bohemian life-style is not conductive to family. Hence, many artists were either childless, or their children were not raised by them

    • high IQ science people are, generally, not very erotic, nor do they care about family ties too much.

    • gays are perhaps 1-2% of population, but among high IQ creative people they must be at least 10-20%

    • generally, many children died young until the 20th C. Lobachevsky’s 17 were reduced to 7.

    • in the West, perhaps the best period to examine is from the early 16th C (Reformation & the end of clerical celibacy dominant among high IQ people) to the early 20th C, when average birth rate dropped dramatically, due to modernity.

  24. Bardon Kaldian says

    To add at the end- in 400 years until, say, 1914, most top IQ creative people in philosophy and sciences had very few children. Just take a look at greats in geology, mathematics, philosophy, medicine, physics, biology, chemistry, engineering, ….

    Religious people tend to have more children, and they (Euler, Pasteur) did have a bunch of kids. Most other titans of sciences, generally- not.

  25. * gays are perhaps 1-2% of population, but among high IQ creative people they must be at least 10-20%

    Correct, but this is probably because gays didn’t devote time to family and had more time for intellectual and creative pursuits, not because gays are inherently more intelligent.

    Of course in the modern world self-indulgence often replaces intellectual and creative pursuits.

  26. AltanBakshi says

    Ancient Roman writers often mentioned that most ancient patrician families had a chronic lack of an offspring, and got extinct because of that.
    I dont know much about the heritability of the intelligence nor about the population genetics, but in the Muslim societies most powerful men did often procreate ten to hundred times more than the men of the lower classes. Huge number of poor men actually were left without any women, unlike in the west were most men of the lower classes had wives. Also Islam has always abhorred the clerical celibacy and has seen it as unnatural and against the will of Allah, but has not historically seen anything wrong in minority of men having the access to the majority of women.

  27. Bardon Kaldian says

    These are other, complex issues. I am not quite informed about it, but I think- do we have reliable biographical data?- that Muslim creative geniuses like Ibn Sina/Avicenna & other scientists & mathematicians were also either childless or with 1-2 children.

    Powerful men, various military people, governors etc. always have more children. Intellectuals- not quite.

    Also, I would like to make a distinction between intellectually oriented/gifted people & those who may have contributed greatly to some area, but are not “mentally impressive”. Pasteur was a great science genius, but intellectually- he was a small fish.

  28. I agree. I don’t think that this tells us too much about the biological contribution of Gulag detainees to those regions.

    A much more obvious explanation is simply that the projects accomplished with slave labour provided by those detainees contributed to the long-term economic development of the regions in question, and the effects of this contribution have lasted into the present day.

    Norilsk, for example, is the largest city of its kind, and I’ve no doubt would not be nearly as developed today without the work of the Gulag labourers.

  29. Ironic how they valued Korolev so little at first that he lost most of his teeth from scurvey – you can prevent it with certain grasses or pine needles. But later they valued him so much that his name was top secret.

    He proposed to his future wife in 1924, but she wanted to pursue higher ed, so they put off the marriage. They had only one daughter in 1935, and he was arrested in 1938. (Von Braun had 3 children)

    Beria commuted his sentence. Despite Beria’s evil reputation with women, I think he was generally more sensible than much of the other Soviet leadership, when it came to policy.

  30. Been a while since I read Gulag Archipelago. I think it is still worth reading, despite the criticisms leveled against it. Though, I wonder whether any more authoritative books have come out since the archives have been opened.

    I guess there’s probably a limit to what bureaucracy can tell us, but then some personal accounts are unreliable, like Rawicz, who says he saw Yetis, while escaping to freedom. And a lot of men were afraid to speak about the experience.

  31. As a rule, geniuses were often not very fecund. Neither Newton or Leibniz had children. One idea is that they help spread the genes of their ethnic groups by their invention – and thus the copies of their genes they share with their ethnic group. But, while I do believe in group selection, it’s hard to see how that could work, as most inventions are artistic or nonmilitary.

    The turning point for dysgenics is estimated at around 1850 for England. I can see where it may have possibly come a bit later for Russia, but probably not more than a generation, if that.

    North Korea must really be an interesting case for IQ trends because how generations are punished, but they also have higher TFR. Probably harder to leave than Russia or East Germany were. Too bad they probably wouldn’t let IQ researchers poke around.

  32. Gerard1234 says

    I think evacuation of Soviet industry away from advancing Germans during WW2 played a bigger role ultimately in determining regional prosperity.

    Interesting point…but I disagree, particularly for the southern siberian ones

    My grandmother’s side of the family “relocated” to Vyatka region in the 1930’s.. Well, grandmother, an engineer (retired now) still lives there, and the factory she worked at is still going strong all those years later. Its not that she couldn’t get out, she could, but why? Cost of living is low and pay is good. If you like gardening, its the place to be.

    So it was more like “Come for the GULAG, stay for the opportunities provided by the Soviet industrial policy”. I’m mean, even today, large internationally competitive Russian factories (polymers, fertilizer, alloys, aluminum, etc) are not too bad to work at, and they require skilled labor.

    You know , in comment 6 I did say words to the same effect!

    It’s important to remember that gulag is identical to what the British did in Australia (prisoners shipped over there for manual labour), French did in Africa and the Americas and several other states have done over history. The difference was that this was on russian territory, not separate parts of an empire… and under enhanced pressure for quicker development because of external threats and the after-effects of the civil war. Most of those places of forced labour for France and UK were in all-year warm climates , which makes a huge effect on lower numbers of deaths. Gulag work for far more practical reasons that similar camps in British and French empires.

    1st generation of many of those in gulag became elites in that same region – can’t say same for French/Anglo equivalent.

  33. Drapetomaniac says

    I don’t see much value in creative high IQ socializing brains.

    Creative high IQ systemizing brains, yes.

  34. Gerard1234 says

    Another great article in the series about the Soviet calamity.

    LOL – surely you have been permanently discredited enough on here to be never seen again?

    Obviously it’s not your personal opinion, but insidious nonsense – you are as “qualified” to talk about USSR as you are about modern Russia and ukrop (i.e you are not) . Clearly you are a pseudo-banderite whose ancestors are with the same set of jealous trash burning in hell permanently for sickening crimes against humanity ( Karlin – referring to his fantasies as pseudo and non-specific use of “ancestors” makes that comment not a personal attack, just common sense) remembering how the soviets beautifully annihilated such human garbage.

    Soviet Union were the power behind the biggest victory of good against evil when the Nazi’s were defeated…. and generated some of the great cultural achievement and great technical achievements in the 20th century.Only a cretin would call it a “calamity”. Mixed legacy would be ok term to use – a mixed legacy that still gave subsequent states plenty of positive things as the basis for future successful development in housing, education,health, energy, art, music. military, sport, community ( actually there was a negative, harmful counter-reaction in the 90’s to the last thing which some places still have not recovered from…..and Soros lowlife money has made worse , not better as “intended”).

    What is an undisputed calamity is 30 years of Khokholism – perhaps one of the biggest failures in the history of humanity as Ukraine is a disaster that continues falling.

    Domestic examples are too many to list for positive or mixed impact….but for western examples , for those who regard them as “heroes”, Steve Bannon and Rupert Murdoch have clearly been influenced by Lenin. Bannon when I have heard him speak always talks about Lenin as a tactical and motivational genius. On the other side ,political correctness became a near-formalised thing during Stalinist times and has now infiltrated much of the west. Now that is mixed legacy. As is creating hugely generous borders in Europe after 1945, hugely benefiting these rabid, insecure anti-Russian states……but on the other side creating some very bad borders in central asia and kavkaz areas that are causing big problems now.

    Galicia, central europe ( purely in location and nothing else), -what should be the heart of Europe is actually it’s black hole/sewage plant. A failed, dying, dumb, talentless, sadistic nothing area with nothing culture over centuries despite it’s perfect location, climate, oil history and influence by Russians, Austrians, Poles, Germans and Jews. Now that IS a calamity

  35. You are another example of the Soviet calamity.

  36. Arbitrary list of history’s most intelligent people:

    1. Goethe – 5 kids
    2. Da Vinci – o kids (gay?)
    3. Newton – 0 kids
    4. Leibniz – 0 kids
    5. Mill – 0 kids
    6. Galileo – 3 kids (despite never marrying)
    7. Descartes – 1 kid
    8. Erasmus – 0 kids (he was a priest)
    9. Michelangelo – 0 kids (gay?)
    10. Spinoza – 0 kids
    11. Faraday – 0 kids
    12. Raphael – 0 kids
    13. Dickens – 10 (!) kids

    So on the level of top geniuses, children are fairly rare. Perhaps those who had kids, had less time to devote to achieving great things. OTOH until the modern era bright people had more kids than not so bright ones. This can be inferred from historical data on fertility in high vs. low status families in Europe. Presumably high status families also had greater intelligence, on average:

    The “tipping point” (pg. 153) when fertility of low status people exceeded those of high status was around 1850, on average, in Europe. But presumably this occurred earlier in more “progressive” countries and later in more traditional ones (thus, those fertile Russian geniuses).

    Humanity’s situation has not been dysgenic for centuries.

  37. anonymous coward says

    gays are perhaps 1-2% of population, but among high IQ creative people they must be at least 10-20%

    “Must”?? By order of the Homintern, I presume?

    Go die in an eternal fire, thanks plz.

  38. Bardon Kaldian says
  39. Bardon Kaldian says

    My opinion is that it is a mistake to look mostly at highest creativity people. They are a class apart.

    It is better to ignore geniuses & to focus on talents. And this is inseparable from societal conditions of modernity, secularization & women’s rights.

    What is beyond any doubt is, I’d say:

    a) forget about average 2+ children per woman in any modern society, east & west (Israel is the only anomaly, but this won’t last long). Simply, women can’t have 3 or something children and go to work. This is statistically impossible, the religious crowd aside.

    And most women won’t go back to kitchen, forget it, these are reactionaries’ wet dreams. What is possible is that women who work get, if they have children, more money for less work- with a stipulation they live in a family, thus preventing parasitism of Gypsies, Negroes & dysgenic white hoes. Let them give twice as money as to men for equal work- if they have children & live in a normal nuclear family.

    b) there should be an eugenic policy (not officially, of course) that should prevent undesirable segments of society (religious breeders on the permanent dole, various trash like hoes, junkies,… as well as unassimilable foreigners like Gypsies; in the case of the US, stricter policy toward black ghetto mentality & way of life) to breed & live constantly on the dole.

  40. Athletic and Whitesplosive says

    Seems like a pretty ridiculous list, more a list of “The 13 most famous (vaguely defined) intellectuals I can name” than the 13 most “intelligent”. What does the work of Raphael, Dickens, and Leibniz have in common? Almost nothing, and as far as IQ ranges are concerned, neither of the former is anywhere near Leibniz’ league, and yet they’re only 8 spots apart in “intelligence”? Meaningless ranking.

  41. Philip Owen says

    13 geniuses, 19 children.

  42. Gerard1234 says

    Bach had 16 children didn’t he? These people travel alot because they are in demand around the continent – presumably that made it easier for most of them to be struck by disease or were lothario’s who slept with alot of different people contracting syphilis all the time ( I know Schubert and Lizst both had it). This may explain any trend for small amount’s of children from genius’s, if that is even true.

    There could be plenty of illegitimate children there not accounted for.

  43. My understanding is also that the effect is higher among women than men. Lower female IQ correlates with higher fertility all the way down, while male IQ is positively correlated with fertility up to a point.

    Having something to bring to the table has always been a positive for male fertility, but for women bringing something to the table only improves the odds of your offspring’s survival, which is extremely high in any case nowadays.

  44. That theory doesn’t make sense, as most of the gay people historically (i.e. until and including 20th century), were marrying especially to hide their homosexual lifestyle from society or the authorities; at the same time, many of the heterosexual geniuses are not marrying.

    Think about famous gay pianists of the 20th century – Vladimir Horowitz, or Sviatoslav Richter. They were married, and Horowitz has children.

    Even the socially accepted gays like economist John Maynard Keynes, were marrying. Leonard Bernstein has three children, Oscar Wilde has two children.

    Among great composers, there were such geniuses who do not marry because they are believed to be gay by scholars (Musorgsky, and possibly Ravel and Handel), but many of the great bachelor composers are heterosexual – Brahms , Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Bruckner, Satie.

  45. Contraception was not easily available in the past. Comparing number of children of historical figures before introduction of contraception, to people in the 21th century, is a bit meaningless.

    For example, is no biographical indication that Bach planned to have so many children. It might be, he just had an attractive wife (and no contraception).

    The vast majority of people in human history, were conceived because their parents wanted sex, not the other way round. Most of world history, people have children because they wanted sex, not that they had sex because they wanted children. And such as nature had designed it.

    There is something perhaps interesting when you look at the personal life of great symphonic composers, outside of opera – that they are often not the romantically exciting life you associate with musicians, and many of them died as virgins. This is perhaps a personality type for the great composer (i.e. boring romantic life), which is more similar to how we stereotype people with professions like scientists and mathematicians. Personal life of a composer like Bruckner, is more similar to Isaac Newton, Kant and Leibniz.

    On the other hand, artists, poets, primarily opera composers, and film directors, much more often conform to all stereotypes of bohemian romantic life.

    elite behavior in moderns*

    In historical scholarship, “moderns” refers to people living form around the 16th century.

    The change in terms of number of children people have after demographic transition, is mainly technological, and result of birth control. It is not result of some abstract psychology change.

  46. Bardon Kaldian says

    The concept of “high IQ” is dubious. I guess that many of these lists are about, say, “high achievers in their respective fields, by more or less common consensus”.

  47. 1. Goethe – 5 kids

    Which 1 of them survived childhood. Goethe was supposedly a virgin until he was 37 years old, and fell in love with the street mistresses he lived with in Rome, that he writes about in his vacation in Italy, despite that he was all the time in Weimar a famous young man in a quite liberal environment of literary salons, and writing about tragic romances. There’s some stereotypically eccentricity with many aspects of Goethe’s life.

  48. Drapetomaniac says

    It’s fallacious to think only in terms of straight or gay.

    An asexual person is a person who does not experience sexual attraction

  49. Elmer's Washable School Glue says

    To add at the end- in 400 years until, say, 1914, most top IQ creative people in philosophy and sciences had very few children. Just take a look at greats in geology, mathematics, philosophy, medicine, physics, biology, chemistry, engineering, …married in an attempt to blend in,

    Perhaps this isn’t really reflective of IQ and instead just reflects the fact that “intellectual titans” happen to be the subset of high IQ people who choose to prioritize their work over their family. For example Leibniz’s father may have been just as intelligent as Leibniz himself (he was a professor), and didn’t achieve as much as his son precisely because of the attention he paid to his personal life.

    If this were the case, super high IQ wouldn’t reduce the mean expected number of children; average-IQ people who prioritized work would be less fertile, and more successful, as well. The only difference is that their relative success isn’t enough to catapult them to fame like their genius counterparts.

  50. Bardon Kaldian says

    Jung has, metaphorically, disagreed with that: A talent can freely choose his life; a genius – not, he is forced by inner necessity to do what he has to do.

  51. You are trying hard to take always wrong spot. This reply for the benefit of others a bit more intelligent than you.

    My guess would be that a lot of gulags were not as bad as people are trying to claim. I would also guess that high human capital people would find a way to do better than the average in gulag conditions. So it would make sense that upon getting out they would be strong enough to start families. Plus I don’t know why anyone would assume that upon getting out of a gulag they would run back to the area where they been driven out of.

  52. Bardon Kaldian says

    My guess would be that a lot of gulags were not as bad as people are trying to claim.

    Forty-Five Things I Learned in the Gulag

  53. So a prostitute of Trotsky once again crying to the west and leading the anti-Russian/anti-Soviet propaganda. LOL.

    The main practitioners of anti-Russia noise and propaganda in the west have always been the fans of Trotsky, after the state threw him away in disgrace and then eliminated him you dimwit . Western Trotskyists have always been much more intensely and quantifiably anti-Russian than the anti-Soviet whites, the anti-soviet western capitalist ideologues, anti-russian jewish pogrom diaspora….and the pseudo-nationalist Banderetards/poles/baltics .

    As I understand it, most communist intellectuals in the west ( there was a time when it was a very normal and open thing) were more favoured to Trotsky then to Stalin. His removal from powerful position and then assassination not only “betrayed” their ideology…it had the equal impact of humiliating them and their pro-Soviet position in front of other western intellectuals and society.

    8 years in gulag was like 3 minutes in Alcatraz or 2 seconds at Lvov “culture” week. As I said before – they served a very practical function identical to what the British did in Australia, French in Africa and Americas…..and were certainly not like “torture dungeons” as some cretins try to imply.

  54. Interesting read. Being older now and knowing his background I can see how a lot of what he says is very biased. Still shows an interesting and revealing picture.

    My current working theory for someone who has not read into gulags at all is that a lot of people in gulags were total losers. Couple of red flags that went up when reading what this guy says that he learned.

    So he observed men being there with their wives but not the other way around. Makes sense I guess because what would a woman do without the man making money for the family?

    This also answers the point made about families being made from the prison population.

    Then he proceeded to simp for women and make excuses for why he couldn’t get a woman. One of the points he says women were generally better than men and another point he says the camps prevented him from getting a woman. This reminds me of pro feminist simps we see online today.

    When viewing him as a simp you can also tell how he dramaticizes a lot of what went on there. Men with guns having power, people turning into animals and etc. You can kinda tell that he was an insufferable twat and that is probably the reason he found himself in a gulag.

    This is not to say that I don’t think a lot of different good people got sent there for opposing commies. Also him making certain observations is believable such as everyone hating the sick guy falling behind or how cold is viewed worse than hot conditions.

  55. Is it possible Berias unsavory antics with women were exaggerated during the de-Stalinization period and later accepted as fact?

  56. 8 years in gulag was like 3 minutes in Alcatraz or 2 seconds at Lvov “culture” week. As I said before – they served a very practical function identical to what the British did in Australia, French in Africa and Americas…..and were certainly not like “torture dungeons” as some cretins try to imply.

    I would think that being an anti-calumniating gulag vatnik would be a degrading profession for anybody to aspire to in the early part of the 21st century? I’d stick to taking piano lessons if I were you. I mean, at the very least it must be a shitty and thankless profession. Your favorite uncle, who must have been a camp guard there, must have left you with warm familial memories?…

  57. For a while it was believed that Khrushchev exaggerated, but iirc recently (so after 1990) research has confirmed it and more. This in parallel with his partial rehabilitation in that he seems to have been a reformist at heart, who didn’t expect the Stalinist Soviet system to be able to survive without major reform (or probably even with it), and didn’t want to keep the oppression going on forever.

    He was doubly depraved as an individual: he served Stalin despite clearly understanding that it was all pretty senseless, and he had a taste for raping young women or teenage girls.

  58. Strongly wishing Karlin good health, a quick recovery and zero long-term effects if he has got coronavirus.

    Hopefully though, it is only psychological – I have thought twice that I have had it, fortunately only thinking this for about 30 minutes.

    I trust that during this time you are too busy to moderate ..and the limits on my creativity are postponed, and I can use ANY insult at an even bigger rate on anyone – particularly on the vile, narcissistic Israeli-Vietnamese troll Ano4 . I think I can achieve new levels of excellence. Many thanks in advance Karlin.

    As for coronavirus in Russia, increase of about 200-300 in the last few days ( so from 4700 cases in the day to near 5000) – although that is with 40k-50000 extra tests than in the days before then, probably because of the start of school and everyone returning to work. So the assumption is that 0.5%-0.7% positive case increases on 40-50k tests is not sign of anything negative?

    Anyway – good luck

  59. They found some skeletons in Beria’s house. I’ve heard it implied that they were the skeletons of women, though I never read the forensic details.

    He must have been pretty ruthless to rise to his position. After all, he participated in the 1941 purge of the army. I know it’s not faultless logic, but once you accept that he was a killer, a rapist does not seem like much of a stretch. Probably murder is a limiting factor to rape, or in other words, it would be more common, if more men were willing to commit murder.

    Though not a proof, Uday Hussein seems to have had a similar reputation. Beria was kind of balding, so probably high T.

  60. Peter Akuleyev says

    The Russian Empire had a lot of ethnic Polish and Baltic German elites who mostly left with their territories. My sense is that ethnic Russians were still disproportionately hurt by the Revolution. Elite Russians were more likely to die in the Civil War or emigrate in the first wave. The Stalinist elite was more „Russian“ than the 1917 elite, but a lot more peasant.

    Imagine if most of the American WASPS were killed or exiled and their places taken by Southern whites of Scotch Irish ancestry. Sort of like that.

  61. So I started reading Gulag Archepilago and I gotta say so far Solzhenitsyn is impressive and he is a good writer. He fought in WW2 and claims was pretty good captain. He managed to preserve his artillery battery in the most recent battle before his arrest. His commander actually wished him good luck during arrest and him self avoided repressions(rose to the rank of brigadier general I think). They ended up meeting each other once the red terror was over and he was out of prison.

    Anyways I can answer earlier posed question already about whether the men who went through the system were able to have families. The answer is absolutely. The system of arrests spanned 30 or 40 years. There was a ton of different prison camps and the system went through many versions.

    So for example in the early years socialists who were not part of the communist party some were offered to relocate to undesirable parts of the country and keep their head down. They may get repressed or not. They arrested college students so relatively young men. They sent away families(women and children) of rebelling farmers.

    One more early observation according to Solzhenitsyn a lot of people were killed in extrajudicial killings at every stage of soviet rise to power. So I would imagine while this hurts the IQ of the nation since first to be targeted were the intelligentsia. I suspect it also eliminates a lot of anti social antifa types. One of the first groups lenin targeted was workers who refused to work. So I wonder if Russian IQ curve got pushed towards the middle. It’s kinda sounds ironic now that spandrell calls his theory bioleninism when the soviets were probably responsible for a wholesale slaughters of losers too.

    One more thing. 🙂 I looked up Lenin’s competition the leader of Social Revolutionaries and man this guy was a total loser. Exiled by the czar, then came back and got exiled by the soviets. You also see Trotsky/Soros connection. Trotsky acting like Soros and getting this loser out of trouble in early years. Had three wives. His son died young (33) probably some soviet shit. But his daughter born in Europe eventually went back to USSR and was a scientist. I wonder if she disowned her father or something. Anyways he ends up dying old in Bronx as a poor man. No wonder with competition like this that soviets won.

  62. 7. I saw that the only group of people able to preserve a minimum of humanity in conditions of starvation and abuse were the religious believers, the sectarians (almost all of them), and most priests.

    This sounds accurate.

    22. I saw that women are more decent and self-sacrificing than men: in Kolyma there were no cases of a husband following his wife. But wives would come, many of them (Faina Rabinovich, Krivoshei’s wife).

    In fairness, political arrestees were about 99% men.

  63. Just imagine the same sentence about KL.

    For shame.